Adam Shell and Kim Hjelmgaard,USA TODAY
NEW YORK - In what some on Wall Street are calling "The Morning After," the Standard & Poor's 500 index shot up to a record closing high in the first trading day since Congress nailed down an eleventh-hour deal to avert a major debt crisis.
The S&P 500, one of the USA's broadest and most-closely followed stock market indexes, rose 11.61 points, or 0.7%, to close at 1,733.15, jumping past its Sept. 18 all-time closing high of 1,725.52. It also hit a new intraday high of 1,733.45.
Weak earnings from Goldman Sachs, IBM and other major U.S. companies, however, helped knock the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average down slightly Thursday.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 2.18 points to 15,371.65. The Nasdaq composite index rose 23.71 points, or 0.6%, to 3,863.15, a 13-year high.
"Now it's business as usual in Washington and on Wall Street," says Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. "The government has reopened and the stock market barely missed a beat."
Still, the economy has taken a hit from the political dysfunction which resulted in a partial government shutdown that lasted 16 days before Wednesday night's deal.
Some so-so earnings reports put a lid on the Dow's gains.
Goldman Sachs, for example, reported third-quarter earnings of $2.88 a share, up from $2.85 a year ago, but the giant investment bank missed revenue estimates by almost $600 million. Goldman shares fell $3.93, or 2.4%, to $158.32.
IBM's third-quarter revenue fell and missed Wall Street's forecast by more than $1 billion. The stock closed down $11.90, or 6.4%, to $174.83. Earlier, it had touched its lowest level of the past year - $172.57.
Stresses in the bond market were easing. The one-month Treasury bill was back to trading at a yield of 0.01%, about where it was a month ago, and down sharply from 0.35% on Tuesday.
Usually a staid, conservative security, the one-month T-bill was subjected to a wave of selling at the beginning of the month. Investors feared the T-bill would be the first piece of government debt to be affected by a U.S. default if the debt ceiling was breached and the federal government could no longer pay its obligations.
The yield on the more closely-watched 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.60% from 2.67% Wednesday.
The price of oil nearly fell below $100 a barrel for the first time in more than three months Thursday. U.S. benchmark crude for November delivery slid as low as $100.03 before recovering a bit to close with a loss of $1.62, or 1.6%, to $100.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil last traded below $100 a barrel on July 3.
Market analysts estimate that the nearly three-week-long government shutdown caused billions of dollars of damage to the U.S. economy through furloughed government employees, delayed government contracts, and declines in tourism at national parks. Analysts at Wells Fargo said the shutdown likely cut 0.5 percentage points off of U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter.
Despite medium-term worries about the damage the debt ceiling and government shutdown did to the economy, there were signs that normalcy was returning to financial markets.
In Asia Thursday, the Nikkei 225 added 0.8% to 14,586.51. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.6% to 23,094.88.
Markets in Europe were mixed. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed up 0.1% at 6,576.16 but Germany's DAX fell 0.4% to 8,811.98. The CAC-40 in France ended 0.1% lower at 4,239.64.
On Wednesday, Wall Street rallied ahead of the deal, which helped the U.S. government avert disaster by avoiding a first-ever default of its debts. The Dow climbed 1.4% to 15,373.83. The S&P 500 gained 1.4% at 1,721.54. The Nasdaq rose 1.2% to 3,839.43.